Philadelphia Building Collapse: Demolition by Criminal Contractor

By Phoebe Ryles, Epoch Times
June 6, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

The contractor who was responsible for the demolition of the three story building that collapsed in Philadelphia, June 5, killing at least six people,  has a criminal past.

According to The Inquirer, a local Philadelphia paper, Griffin T. Campbell, 49, the owner of Griffin Campbell Construction pled guilty to insurance fraud in 2009.

He also filed for bankruptcy in March, listing over $200,000 in liabilities, including unpaid city, state and federal taxes.  

Campbell owns several properties in North Philadelphia that have bank liens against them, one of which was the site of significant drug activity, according to The Inquirer.

After an investigation Campbell reached an agreement with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office to sell the property, but did not comply.

None of this seedy past prevented Campbell from operating as a demolition contractor in the city.

Union Carpenters working across the street noticed that the demolition seemed unsafe.  A two story wall loomed, unsupported, adjacent to the Salvation Army thrift store next door.

“It was free standing. It was waving back and forth. And, boom! It went over on the people in the store,” Dan Gillis, a construction worker from Cinnaminson told The Inquirer.

New York based STB Investments Corp. is the owner of the building.

According to the Department of Licenses and Inspections, Plato Marinakos Jr. pulled a permit for the demolition in February.